Georgia special House election heads to runoff

The race for Rep. Nathan Deal's (R-Ga.) House seat will go to a June 8 runoff after none of the eight candidates in Tuesday's special election were able to capture a majority of the vote.

Deal resigned in March to focus on his run for the GOP gubernatorial nomination.

Tuesday's result could be considered a major show of electoral strength by the Tea Party movement.

Atlanta tea-party groups and the Club for Growth backed former state Rep. Tom Graves (R), who led with 34.1 percent of the vote with 89 percent of precincts reporting. His closest competitor, ex-state Sen. Lee Hawkins, will join him in he runoff. Hawkins pulled in 23.7 percent of the vote. Both men were also the fundraising leaders in the short race.

Businessman Steve Tarvin (R) was third with 16.1 percent of the vote.

The winner of the June runoff will serve out Deal's existing term, but still have to secure the nomination in the July 20 primary. The district is solidly Republican and isn't considered a pick up opportunity for Democrats. The lone Dem in the special election, Mike Freeman, pulled in some 6 percent of the vote.